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September 21st is National Back To Church Sunday

by Rev. Roger E. Rohde on September 17, 2014

September 21st is "National Back To Church Sunday".

In a recent newspaper article, Jill Adams wrote about a traditional Sunday in many American families today.  She wrote: “It was a peaceful Sunday morning.  I sat lazily at the kitchen table, sipping coffee and reading the paper.  I yawned contentedly.  It felt good to relax.  Looking out the window, I could see my husband happily doing his lawn work.  I smiled as I watched him, then peeked in the living room.  My children were quietly enjoying a movie together.  Recognizing the miracle of this situation, I decided to enjoy another cup of coffee.  I stood by the counter as it brewed, and as I did, something caught my eye.  The old, yellowed wallpaper I had overlooked when we purchased our house was suddenly screaming for my attention.  I grabbed my cup and eyed the antiquated décor.  I looked at the clock.  It was 9:45 a.m.  ‘Well,’ I said loud to myself, ‘no time like the present.’  Before I knew it, I was armed with wallpaper remover and a scraper.  Taking a deep breath, I went to work.”

This, of course, is not the way Sunday was always received by people.  When I left Missouri to come to St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Bremen, they still lived by “Blue Laws.”  The “Blue Laws” noted that all businesses, except those involved with immediate health care needs, such as a pharmacy, would be required to be closed on Sundays so that employees could attend church services and the rest of society would spend time going to church rather than shopping.  It didn’t work perfectly, but in those days the culture gave at least recognition to the values God had associated with the Sabbath Day.  It may have been a bit legalistic, but it did remind people that Sunday was a special day.

Today, God’s concept and teaching about the Sabbath Day is all but lost.  Now Sundays are used for sport competitions, business transactions, catching up on work at home or one’s place of employment, and attending social activities.  Lots of people today see Sunday as the writer of the above article.  Public worship in the Lord’s house doesn’t seem to be on people’s minds anymore.       

The Sabbath, you may recall, was created for man.  It is a gift from God. It is a special day to worship the Lord with God’s family and to rest from one’s labors that we may intently focus on the joyous resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.  God strongly commands and encourages us to “remember the Sabbath Day by keeping it holy” (Exodus 20:8).   “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25).


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